HEAR FROM THE TEAM: REFLECTIONS ON 2021

We asked the team to think back on the year and to share one moment that stands out for them. From shy learners gaining confidence, to team members developing professionally, to a 'thank you from a learner' - these moments offer a glimpse at the different ways our impact has been experienced and seen this year. Read about their reflections below:


I think one of the most impactful things we did this year was: Parent meetings and communicating regularly with parents, respectfully entering into partnership with caregivers in the best interests of their learners. This will have long term and far reaching benefits over time in terms of sustainability. - Jo


Something was impactful is the dedication and commitment I discovered from my team. We experienced lots of challenges this year but we were still able to work together towards achieving our goals. The most rewarding part is getting that "Thank you sis" after you have helped a learner; it could be with the applications, or by simply explaining something that is not clear to a learner. - Zodwa


Meeting with two of our alums and seeing their first cars - Craig


We had a grade 12 learner living with grandma, sadly she passed away in January due to covid. One thing that has inspired me about this story is that he has shown so much resilience under the circumstances. He has been doing really well at school. I’m grateful to Axium for the support we give our learners because we have been able to help with groceries, clothes and other school needs and it shows for me that we are child centred. His story has inspired me; his hard work, his dedication and the resilience he has shown is something to be admired. - Nomfundo


Seeing the impact of our two School Management Team Retreats at Amajingqi, and having the buy-in of ECDoE district officials. There is an increase in the willingness to work hard and implement the School Improvement Plans for 2022. - Babalwa


I think the one thing that stands out for me was the Walk in Their Shoes event and getting to hear from the two alumni that shared their stories with us. It was amazing hearing a bit of their life story in their own voice; I found it so encouraging and inspiring. - Mike


The thing I have realized that made a great impact to me is the fast that I was attending Friday teacher training. I think these led me to be willing to grow in terms of teaching at Ekukhuleni and Study Groups. Those trainings made an impact as I am able to stand up and teach better than before. They led me to be a better teacher. - Asithandile


I had the chance to watch a Nobalisa class and see the progress and change that has happened over the last couple years. The growth is amazing and to know that it’s happening across both sites! As well as seeing how well the team has grown and progressed as individuals. Also seeing how excited students were to get their Book Dash books at the Literary festival. Those are the two moments that stand out for me. As back office, it’s important to be reminded what front office is up to! -Mich


For me, the impact I have seen is the unity among the NGOs for example, if one team needs help there is always someone who is willing to help. I also have felt the impact of the Professional Development that we do on Friday because it helps a lot in my lessons.

- Ayanda


I've seen our impact when looking at the TaRL data. Learners are improving, and a significant number are moving up a reading level/s - Pieter


The impact I've seen has taken place at our weekly Ops meetings. When we are sitting together and brainstorming as a team we have 9 people who are able to give insights on how to improve things and the issues we were facing. I was able to get answers for the questions I was having before. -Lindo


The impact I have seen is one of our very shy learners who used to be quiet in class. She turned out to be the one to volunteer herself to go and write on the board which shows that her confidence is growing and that my team is working hard in making sure that the students feel safe in their presence -Mashiya


What stood out for me has been watching our Pathways team steadily grow the number of learners we assist with tertiary applications. This year they supported over 400 students!


Announcing the Zithulele Hospital job shadow to the grade 11s. They were all so excited and kept calling me to confirm everything. On the day they tell you stories about what they've learnt and keep asking, “Where am I going next? What am I going to see next?” You can tell they enjoyed it! -Sive


I feel like my students are having a huge impact on my career goals because they are giving me a feel of how a classroom is. Sometimes I want to cry or shout but the kids are training me on how to deal with misbehaviour and with other challenges. The Professional Development sessions on Fridays have had a huge impact on my confidence when standing in front of learners. There were times where I didn’t know what I was doing, but this helped. And the people that have had an impact on my work - Sinovuyo, Jo, Mashiya - enkosi!

-Yonelwa


The workshop we had with the organisation called Music Works. This opened up my mind in terms of how music interacts with teaching and how it makes children interact positively. For example, before a lesson, it’s easy for you to identify if a child has a problem and it makes a lesson easier to grasp for the child. Because when you teach something and remind them of the fun lesson, then they remember.

-Mandisa


This year what stands out is that I have learnt different skills like how to be an effective leader. At the same time I’ve learnt professionalism in terms of communication. I believe I can be more than a mentor because of the support I have received from my Programme Manager and the feedback I get from my team. All of my team, they make me believe that there is nothing that I can’t do and to Never Stop Learning! I’m proud of being a Nobalisa.

-Sekiwe


What really touched me as the year was ending was seeing my students, grades 4,5 and 6 in the classroom, with their parents. Parents getting practically involved in their children's learning and everyone bonding and having a good time. One activity that had everyone emotionally, giddy, fuzzy and warm was when the parents had to narrate to the kids the stories of their birth and the kids wrote it down. All the way from labour and how they felt when they first held them and what made them give them the names they did. This activity was so beautiful and it really touched my heart. -Sinovuyo



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